Mold-covered Sengkang and Punggol flats to undergo ‘professional independent study’

Housing Development Board (HDB) flats serve as starter homes for many Singaporean families. Most end up living in them comfortably for years. At least for the older homes.

Anchorvale Parkview in Sengkang and Matilda Court in Punggol are relatively new estates in the Northeast, with their Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) having ended recently in 2022.

But instead of celebrating their new homes, some residents have been complaining about the mold-covered external walls of their estates. On top of that, they are also worried about the health risks.

Older buildings are more likely to have mold issues but you wouldn’t expect it to affect buildings that are only five years old.

In a written statement, the Ministry of National Development said that the HDB will be commissioning an “independent professional technical study” to better scope why some blocks are more susceptible to mold growth.

The issue was raised in a Parliamentary session on Monday, Feb. 6.

In the past three years, HDB received an average of about 1.4 reported cases of mold per 1,000 occupied units.

The study, which will last about three to four months. will also include recommendations to remedy the current situation and prevent future recurrence.

However, the HDB has assured the public that the mold does not affect the structural integrity of the building.

Mold formation is usually caused by insufficient ventilation, which is why mold is more commonly found indoors. But the high levels of humidity we have in Singapore also encourage growth.

The HDB says its will assist those who have complained about mold and help refer them to suitable repair contractors.

One of the remedies HDB has suggested is using an algae-resistant emulsion paint for HDB blocks.

The particular type of paint contains biocide, which prohibits the growth of algae culture and gives the paint its algae-resistant properties.

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